Jimmy Kimmel's Mistake

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Memo to Jimmy Kimmel, Joe Walsh, and Mo Brooks: YOU ARE DUMB.

We sit on the razor's edge of Zombie Trumpcare. They took shitty dead Trumpcare, kicked some poors with it Weekend at Bernie's style, and got the Freedom Caucus on board, because the Freedom Caucus has principles. It remains to be seen whether moderates have principles, or whether a carefully-selected number of them just shy of the number needed to defeat it will be allowed to pretend they have principles. While all this is going on, though, IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something that whether you're a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?" - Jimmy Kimmel, making an understandable and all too common mistake.

For the most part, Kimmel's heartfelt monologue, in which he talks about his child's congenital heart condition, was an important part of the healthcare debate. But the fact is, Republicans don't agree that your healthcare shouldn't depend on how much money you have. A lot of Democrats don't agree either. Or, if they do agree, they vote like they don't agree, which is the same thing, or possibly even worse. If they believed that, they'd vote for single-payer, because single-payer universal healthcare is the only healthcare system that meets that particular moral outcome.

Republicans are actively trying to gut Medicaid, which is how poor people get health care. You cannot reconcile that fact with "Republicans are nice people who don't want children to die" no matter how inclusive or kind you want to be. Democrats who don't support single-payer aren't actively trying to hurt the poor like Republicans are, but they're not actively trying to help, so guess what? They also, on some level, think that if you don't make enough money to afford health insurance, enjoy your dead baby! Coddling people about the moral consequences of their political stances is a good tactic for a talk show host, but it's also fundamentally dishonest.

"Sorry Jimmy Kimmel: your sad story doesn't obligate me or anybody else to pay for somebody else's health care." - Former congressman, current Wingnut Welfare recipient, and always asshole Joe Walsh.

Case in point. American Glibertarianism means that government should only pay for the things glibertarians like, and that benefit glibertarians and people glibertarians like. Glibertarians do not like poor children because glibertarians think poor children are the lazy/genetically inferior spawn of lazy/genetically inferior parents. Glibertarians say "freedom" a lot and neglect the rest of the phrase, which is "the freedom to see my own sociopathy enshrined as public policy".

Joe Walsh is a Republican. Joe Walsh thinks that if you can't keep a decent job that pays decent money, your sick child should die. Joe Walsh couldn't cut it as a Congressman, so now he works in the customary landing spot of otherwise-unemployable conservatives, going on talk radio and convincing fellow sociopaths that they're made up entirely of bootstraps and flagstripes. Sorry, Jimmy.

"My understanding is that it will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool. That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now those are the people—who’ve done things the right way—that are seeing their costs skyrocketing." - Alabama congressman Mo Brooks, explicitly stating a long-held conservative belief.

The cornerstone of conservative thinking is that everything is a meritocracy. If you're a bad person, bad things will happen to you. If nothing bad has happened to you, you must by definition be a good person. Billionaires earned every penny, but someone working two minimum-wage jobs is lazy. Sick people are sick because they made bad choices. Healthy people are healthy because they did everything right.

Were Mo Brooks to be directly confronted with the reality of Kimmel's newborn son and his congenital heart condition, Brooks would of course say that the child hadn't done anything wrong, and wouldn't even argue that the parents were at fault genetically because Kimmel is, after all, white and successful. He'd also probably claim that Zombie Trumpcare would take care of people like that, and while he would be lying, Zombie Trumpcare has enough thin cover and plausible deniability built into it that he would get away with it. But his very premise is dangerous as fuck. What if Brooks found a youthful indiscretion in Kimmel's past that he could say "caused" the heart problem? Suddenly that baby doesn't get saved because someone didn't live a good life.

Even discounting how you define "good life", and also discounting the fact that what's "healthy" and "not healthy" changes constantly as the science changes, the core philosophy here is abhorrent, wrong, and held to by a great many Republicans. Sorry, Jimmy.